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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

The race is not always to the swift when kids play SEL sportyball



Remember the Titans? Not to mention, Ted Lasso, Friday Night Lights, Hoosiers and The Karate Kid? It's not just whether you win or lose. It's how you play the game.


Coaches need training in how to help student-athletes cope with stress and learn self-control, according to social-emotional-learning advocates, writes Lauraine Langreo in Education Week. Massachusetts legislators are considering requiring state education officials to publish guidelines for a social-emotional-learning curriculum in middle and high school athletic programs.


Denzel Washington played Coach Herman Boone in "Remember the Titans."

SEL skills can be incorporated into the sport, said Andrew Tucker, the director of policy for the nonprofit Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, or CASEL. If the team loses a game, "how do you as a coach lift your team back up? Do you teach them that this is one game, that these emotions you’re feeling are valid? What are you feeling, and why are you feeling that way? How can we get you to a place where you’re feeling OK?”


Sports already teach social-emotional skills, writes Rick Hess. "Kids make friends. They get mentored. They fail. They sweat. They strive toward a common goal, together with teammates of varied races and backgrounds. They learn about practice and persistence.”


Then he talks to his (fictional!) "22nd-century skills" guru, Paul Banksley. "There are no consultants in "sportyball," he says. "No worksheets. Hardly any trainers or workshops. Almost no focus on combating microaggressions."


When one player fouls another and things get tense, it might be time for breathing exercises, a privilege worksheet or coloring in a feeling thermometer, says Banksley. "We might want to pause the contest to convene a restorative justice circle.”


Open Phys Ed urges "wellness walks," and suggests coaches ask questions such as: "How do you support the wellness goals of the people you care about?"


When Hess isn't convinced, Banksley provides an example:


You know how racers run around the track, seeing who can get to the finish line fastest?” . . . “Well, that’s a case study in emotional damage. . . . We can make those races more equitable. We can adjust how far each kid has to run. We can provide counselors and rest stops. We can make sure there are supportive spaces with coloring books and comfort dogs.”

Hess gets it: “You want to do for sports what restorative justice, SEL, and equitable practices have done for academics.”


Yes, this is satire.


652 views7 comments

댓글 7개


eporter03
6월 08일

To be fair, my brother, the high school running coach, has had to deal with kids (including boys) dealing with eating disorders. It presents differently in boys and had he not been on top of things with how his athlete was feeling, that kid could have really gotten hurt.

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buy
6월 07일

Seems to me that some of the worst offenses are by the coaches themselves. I've seen some pretty horrific ones, including one who was a primary bully of our grade-school kid. They are sometimes the ones who need sensitivity training.

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rob
6월 11일
답글 상대:

Yes. When I was in junior high, a couple of coaches got in very bad trouble for making a class crawl around a field on their knees and elblows (causing skinned knees and elbows and some bleeding here and there). They were forced to apoloize at a public meeting in the auditorium with kids and parents, which must have been as humiliating as hell (so the punishment fit the crime pretty well).

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mcra99
6월 07일

A privilege worksheet? WTH is that? All of this narcissistic SEL encourages children to be even more helpless and focused on themselves. The more helplessness displayedthe more attention is given.


Most of this emotional pablum should have been learned at home and in primary school.

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rob
6월 07일

"rest stops" in a footrace? <snort>

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mcra99
6월 07일
답글 상대:

We're doomed.

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rob
6월 07일

"When one player fouls another and things get tense, it might be time for breathing exercises, a privilege worksheet or coloring in a feeling thermometer"


I seem to remember coaches making us shake hands and say we were sorry. The opportunity of putting on (large) boxing gloves and settling things was, to my memory, never accepted -- no one really wanted to hit or get hit. If that failed, pushups or running laps become involved. What is this "feeling thermometer" nonsense? "Priviledge worksheet"? Those things seem designed to inflame your feelings instead of settling things.

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